While there are about 10 peaks with this name in Oregon, this is one of the highest and it is situated just to the east of Mt. Hood. As you would expect, the views of Hood are incredible from this peak just over half it's height. The summit also overlooks the Cascade Peaks from the Three Sisters to Rainier as well as the Columbia River Plateau. In addition, along one of the main routes to the summit there are some dramatic rock pinnacles.
The February 2002 edition of Backpacker magazine called this one of the "Quietest Spots in the US" to hike. They feature it in a 2 page article and have a nice summit photo looking at Mt. Hood. They also have a graphic of some of the different routes.
The forests that occur in this area on the eastern side of the Cascade Range are interesting as it is where the thick typical Northwest forests of Douglas Firs meet the pine and oak types of the high desert. So, you get everything including flowers from both desert and mountain areas. Be wary of rattlesnakes in this area during warm months as I have almost stepped on one before here.
There are four main routes to the top that range from easy to steep hikes to nice scrambles.
For the shortest route to the summit, you'll want to hike the High Prairie Trail #493 and to get there from Portland, take Highway 26 around the southern side of Mt. Hood to Highway 35 North. Take 35 to the turnoff between mileposts 70 and 71 for Dufur Mill Road 44. Turn east onto this road and go 3.8 miles to gravel High Prairie Road 4410. Drive 4.6 miles on this washboard gravel road (note: always stay going uphill - many small turnoff roads tempt you otherwise) until the road "T"s. Turn left and go a couple hundred yards to the trailhead.
Lookout Mountain can also be reached via trails from Gumjuwac Saddle, the Divide Trail and if you are really ambitious, from Badger Creek Trail with a lot of bushwhacking and fourth class scrambles over several rows of rock pinnacles. If anyone wants this information, let me know and I can post it as well.
No permits are required for hiking but you do need a Northwest Forest Pass
to park at any trailheads. These can be purchased through Ranger Districts or from most any outdoor store in the Pacific Northwest including REI, GI Joe's etc.
When To Climb
July through October normally, although could be done year-round.
Camping is allowed on the mountain and in the area and there are many sights along the trail to the summit as well as along the Divide Trail along the rock pinnacles. No fees.
The nearest webcam would be from nearby Mt. Hood.
For current conditions, call Barlow Ranger District at (541) 467-2291.